Footballers in Turkey, either foreign or national, have different remedies in order to collect their receivables from their clubs. National remedies to collect players’ receivables are available for both Turkish and foreign players. Turkish Football Federation (“TFF” hereinafter) organizes a mandatory arbitration and accordingly the actions before Turkish courts are precluded. Concerning foreign players, they can claim their receivables before FIFA arbitration system.
TFF is regulated by the Constitution, by Law on The Establishment and Duties of the Turkish Football Federation no. 5894 and by internal status and directives.
- Mandatory arbitration before the Dispute Resolution Committee
Article 56 of TFF Statutes specifies the scope of disputes solved by the Dispute Resolution Committee. It comprises disputes arising out between a club and its players in connection with a contract or any football-related matters. The jurisdiction of the Dispute Resolution Committee is exclusive, it means that there is no other legally possible way to solve a dispute in this context. There is only a possibility of appeal before the Arbitration Committee.
In case that the player brings an action before the Dispute Resolution Committee and that the latter issues an award; if the player is not satisfied with the said decision, he has seven days to bring it before the Arbitration Committee which works as an appeal. Otherwise, the parties shall be considered having waived their right to appeal.
The decision of the Arbitration Committee is final and binding pursuant to the Article 59/3 of Turkish Constitution which regulates that “The decisions of sport federations relating to administration and discipline of sportive activities may be challenged only through compulsory arbitration. The decisions of Board of Arbitration are final and shall not be appealed to any judicial authority.”
There is no possible way to go to the Court of Arbitration for Sports in Lausanne, Switzerland.
- Execution proceedings before the execution office
The execution proceedings before the execution offices are not recommended as the system is quite complicated in Turkey and also with the pending mandatory arbitration, any attempt to recover receivables can be stopped by the arbitration clause. However, in practice, execution proceedings are widely used among footballers and clubs. They are using their right to object to the payment order issued by execution offices. Upon the objection; an action for annulment of objection should be brought before the Court. This objection is mainly done in order to extend the length of proceedings and avoid transfer bans.
- Voluntary Arbitration before the Dispute Resolution Chamber of FIFA (only for foreign players)
For foreign players, FIFA has its own Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC). Foreign players can request an examination from both the TFF’s arbitration chamber and FIFA’s arbitration chamber. TFF clearly states its jurisdiction and also the jurisdiction of FIFA in the article 63(3) of its Statutes. This arbitration system is only available for those cases implying “an international dimension”.
FIFA’s Regulation on the Status and Transfer of Players specifies the possibility of an explicit clause on the contract or collective bargaining agreement of the player which is referring to the sole possible adjudication before the national sport arbitration system.
There is a special procedure in FIFA concerning overdue payables. In case of an overdue payable, the player must put the club in default in writing with a deadline to comply with its financial obligations in at least ten days. In case of non-compliance; it is considered having overdue payables. Then, the player can request the examination of the Dispute Resolution Chamber of FIFA.
However, Dispute Resolution Chamber of FIFA is not a mandatory arbitration. Indeed, Article 23 states that the competence of FIFA is “without prejudice to the right of any player or club to seek redress before a civil court for employment-related disputes”. However, as TFF arbitration is mandatory in Turkey, there is no way for a foreign player to go to the court in Turkey to solve employment-related matters.
FIFA’s Dispute Resolution Chamber is constituted of a sole or three members to examine a case. It has 60 days to adjudicate the case and there is no fee to pay to FIFA for employment-related disputes. Along with the order to pay, FIFA can give disciplinary sanctions to the club.
In case of an award of the Dispute Resolution Chamber, there is a possibility of appeal before the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland.
 Article 22 of the Directive on the status and transfer of professional players: “All disputes arising from professional players’ contracts and sanctions given by clubs should exclusively be examined and awarded by the Dispute Resolution Committee. Their appeal may be made before the Arbitration Committee.”
 “The TFF shall have jurisdiction over internal disputes and FIFA over international disputes.
 Article 22/b of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players stating the competence of FIFA
 Article 22/b of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players stating the competence of FIFA: “employment-related disputes between a club and a player of an international dimension; the aforementioned parties may, however, explicitly opt in writing for such disputes to be decided by an independent arbitration tribunal that has been established at national level within the framework of the association and/or a collective bargaining agreement. Any such arbitration clause must be included either directly in the contract or in a collective bargaining agreement applicable on the parties. The independent national arbitration tribunal must guarantee fair proceedings and respect the principle of equal representation of players and clubs;”